Supporting the education system in Mabiri, Bougainville
St Joseph's College, a Marist-administered school in Mabiri, Bougainville, which has 657 students across the following grades:
- Elementary School (Grades P-2) – 105 male and female students
- Primary School (Grades 3-8) – 159 male and female students
- Lower Secondary School (Grades 9-10) – 393 male boarding students
- Vocational Training – 76 male boarding students (two-year course)
During the Bougainville conflict the school was burnt to the ground along with most buildings on the island. Many Marist Brothers stayed in Bougainville during the first years of the conflict but were eventually forced to flee. The Marist Brothers returned towards the end of the conflict and in 1999 established a new St Joseph's College in the village of Mabiri.
At present St Joseph's only operates until Grade 10 – the end of lower secondary school. Less than 25% of grade 10 graduates progress to upper secondary school as the closest is a 45-minute drive away in Arawa.
There are only four upper secondary schools in Bougainville offering around 500 positions for an estimated age cohort of several thousands.
This project involves the construction of a "4-1 building" – a two-story building with two classrooms on the ground level and a dormitory on the upper level. One classroom will be for 40 grade 11 students, the other classroom for 40 grade 12 students, while the dormitory will have a capacity of 20 students. This construction project will enable the establishment of upper secondary education (grades 11 and 12) at Joseph's College, therefore providing more opportunities for young men in Bougainville to complete their full education.